Tuesday, May 20, 2008

NBC vs. The Actualities

NBC, well-known for fiction (see GM light-truck saddle-tanks, e.g.) is still creating it.

Here is a transcript of the interview in question via Newsbusters, the White House release of the full interview, and Bush's Knesset speech. [Marc Ambinder reprints the White House letter.]
Gillespie objected to "both initial questions"; here is the first as presented by NBC:

RICHARD ENGEL: Good morning, Meredith. I started by asking the President about his controversial comments he made in Israel, which Democratic candidates interpreted as a political attack. You said that negotiating with Iran is pointless and then you went further. You're saying, you said that it was appeasement. Were you referring to Senator Barack Obama? He certainly thought you were.

GEORGE W. BUSH: You know, my policies haven't changed, but evidently, the political calendar has.

Left on the cutting room floor was this:

People need to read the speech. You didn't get it exactly right, either. What I said was is that we need to take the words of people seriously. And when, you know, a leader of Iran says that they want to destroy Israel, you've got to take those words seriously. And if you don't take them seriously, then it harkens back to a day when we didn't take other words seriously. It was fitting that I talked about not taking the words of Adolph Hitler seriously on the floor of the Knesset. But I also talked about the need to defend Israel, the need to not negotiate with the likes of al Qaeda, Hezbollah and Hamas. And the need to make sure Iran doesn't get a nuclear weapon.
But I also talked about a vision of what's possible in the Middle East.

So Bush did in fact dispute Engel's characterization of the speech. Here is the next question as presented by NBC:

ENGEL: Negotiations with Iran. Is that appeasement? Is that like appeasing Adolf Hitler?

BUSH: No my, my, my position, Richard, all along, has been that if the Iranians verifiably suspend their enrichment, which will be a key, key measure to stop them from gaining the know-how to build a weapon, then they can come to the table and the United States will be at the table.


...then they can come to the table, and the United States will be at the table. That's been a position of my administration for gosh, I can't remember how many years, but it's a clear position. We've stated it over and over again.

But I've also said that if they choose not to do that -- verifiably suspend -- we will continue to rally the world to isolate the Iranians. And it is having an effect inside their country. There's a better way forward for the Iranian people than to be isolated. And their leaders just need to make better choices

So did Bush attack Obama? Hardly. Did he articulate a negotiating stance? Definitely.

Should NBC be awarded a Pulitzer for 'Creating Fiction'?

You be the judge.

HT: JustOneMinute

1 comment:

Billiam said...

What? A leftist news org twisting and editing so they get their desired outcome? Nah. Couldn't happen here. That'd violate Truth, Justice, and all that other stuff.